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3 Articles

Total Literacy Campaign: Past, Present and Future


Speaker: Dr L D Mishra
Chair: Professor J B Tilak, Distinguished Professor, CSD and Former Vice-Chancellor, NUEPA
Date: November 16, 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 3.00 pm
Venue: Durgabai Deshmukh Memorial Lecture Hall, CSD, Sangha Rachna, 53 Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003

Abstract of the Presentation

The presentation will cover importance of literacy, challenges of launching a movement for total literacy, positive offshoots of a campaign for total literacy and tasks ahead. The primary mandate of National Literacy Mission was to make 30 million unlettered adults fully functionally literacyby 1990 in a span of five years and an additional 50 million by 1995. This was an extremely challenging assignment in as much as (a) the prevailing environment was one of cynicism and skepticism against literacy (b) functional literacy for adults in comparison with primary and elementary education was a non priority issue. The National Adult Education Programme (NAEP) launched by Morarji Bhai Desai during the Janata Rule on 2.10.1978 had already failed to deliver the results, i.e., making 100 million unlettered adults functionally literate. In this background, it was realized by the NLM that government cannot directly go in for social mobilization through social communication and create a conducive climate for imparting functional literacy. Government can act as a promoter, facilitator, catalytic agent but cannot directly play the role of social mobiliser or communicator. This task should be best left to creative thinkers, writers, artistes, social and educational activists. It is with this end in view that government promoted creation of a government sponsored NGO called Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS) With effect from September 1989. The BGVS was headed by Dr. Prof Malcom S. Adiseshaiah and had people of originality, imagination, clear perception and innovation like Dr. M. P. Parmeswaran, Vinod Raina, K.K. Krishna Kumar and many others. The BGVS took the initiative of lunching the countrywide jatha or caravan of teachers, students, women and youth known as Bharat Gyan Vigyan Jatha who successfully covered over 100,000 villages spread over 300 districts (out of 460 districts then) and spread the message of literacy among the mute unlettered millions.

A Brief Introduction of the Speaker

Dr L D Mishra is a retired IAS officer. He was Director General; National Literacy Mission for around six years during 1987 to 1993, which according to him was the most productive and exciting phase in his 50 year long civil and public service career (1964-2014). He spearheaded the launch of Total Literacy Campaign (TLC) which started in the district of Ernakulum and later followed in the remaining 13 districts of Kerala, Goa, Puducherry and over 200 districts in various other parts of the country such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Bihar,Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal and UP.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Interfaith Initiatives


‘Assessing the Effectiveness of Interfaith Initiatives’ is the first study to analyze the effectiveness of interfaith initiatives. Taking a primarily inductive approach to the research design, this project investigates if and how interfaith initiatives generate changes in the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of participants and the faith communities to which they belong in three cities: Doha, Delhi, and London. The choice these cities is specifically designed to enable us to analyze the impact of interfaith initiatives across three very distinctive political, demographic, and historical contexts with regard to interfaith relations. The distinctiveness will facilitate distinguishing generalizable versus context-specific impact generated by initiatives.

The aim of this study is to provide data on effectiveness through comparing the impact of two organizational models of interfaith initiatives (‘leader-led’ and ‘grassroots’) across and within the three locations. This comparison will allow for distinguishing between generalizable processes of change. The study as a whole will in turn allow us to propose a novel, transferable, evidence-based framework for designing and evaluating interfaith activities and will inform recommendations for policy strategies.

Dr Edward Kessler MBE,
Founder Director, Woolf Institute
Fellow, St Edmund’s College
Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

+44 (0) 1223 741 834

Dr Edward Kessler MBE is an authority on the relationship between religion and society.  He is  Founder Director of the Woolf Institute, a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge and a leading thinker in interfaith relations, primarily, Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. In 2007, Dr Kessler was described by The Times Higher Education Supplement as ‘probably the most prolific interfaith figure in British academia’ and was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to interfaith relations.

He is a prolific author, having written or edited nine books and dozens of articles. Dr Kessler’s most recent book is entitled Jews, Christians and Muslims (SCM, 2013) and a new book on Jesus is due to be published in 2016. Other publications include Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Cambridge University Press, 2004) which was called a ‘landmark in Jewish-Christian Relations’ by the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations(Cambridge University Press, 2005) which Lord Williams, Master of Magdelene College and former Archbishop of Canterbury, has called ‘an invaluable guide to Jewish-Christian Relations’. In 2006, What do Jews Believe? was published by Granta Publications and has been translated into 6 languages. In 2010, Cambridge University Press published An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations.


Dr John Fahy
Junior Research Fellow


John Fahy joined the Woolf Institute as a Junior Research Fellow in November 2015. Based in Qatar, he is part of the QRNF funded project assessing the effectiveness of interfaith initiatives in Doha, Delhi and London. This project aims to better understand how both grassroot and leader-led interfaith initiatives can be assessed in terms of effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Fahy’s PhD at the University of Cambridge was in Social Anthropology. His research focused on an international community of Krishna devotees (popularly known as the ‘Hare Krishnas’) in Mayapur, West Bengal. Framed by the anthropology of ethics, he looked at how devotees pursue ideals of self-fashioning and world-making in the context of unprecedented urban development.

Social Development Forum Lecture

August 31, 2015

Venue: Seminar Hall 1&2, Kamala Devi Block, India International Centre, New Delhi.

The Social Development Forum of Council for Social Development, in association with the Institute of Chinese Studies, organised a lecture by Dr Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India. Dr Subramaniam spoke on, Dealing with the Rise of China: What Should the World and India Do?